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Online Library Science Degree Programs Resource

Learning about a library science degree can help individuals who are interested in working as a school librarian to get started towards a career path in this field. Librarians, or information professionals, help patrons of public and private libraries find books and information in both electronic databases and texts. They teach library users how to correctly search for and evaluate sources of information. In addition to working with other people, librarians are responsible for classifying, organizing and cataloging texts so that they are easy for patrons to find. They also have administrative duties, such as reviewing and selecting the newest literature to add to the library’s collection. Librarians need to have exceptional social skills, including the ability to interact professionally with many different people. Librarians also need to have organizational skills, knowledge of a wide range of literature, competent research skills, and the ability to navigate through complex information in computer databases.

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How to Become a Librarian

Requirements for library science jobs vary by state. Most librarian positions require that candidates have an undergraduate degree in any subject area and a master’s degree in library science. Some places require that librarians pass a state test to work in public libraries and a teaching certification exam to work in schools. In the United States, 49 library science programs have obtained accreditation from the American Library Association.

Typical Courses in Library Science Degree Programs

Students who enroll in a school with a library and information science degree program will take courses in the history of library science and the evolution of literature. In addition, prospective librarians take classes in research strategies, the collection and organization of materials, information technology systems, and library management. Students can also choose to take additional classes that address specific interests, such as how to find age-appropriate resources for children. All library science degree programs take one to two years to complete.

Some examples of classes a student would take to obtain a library sciences degree include:

  • Computer-Based Information Tools
  • Resources for Children
  • Library Services for Early Childhood
  • Curriculum Resources and Services in the School Library Media Center
  • Storytelling
  • History of Children’s Literature
  • Collection Development and Management
  • Academic Library Management
  • Evaluation of Resources and Services
  • Evaluation of Information Systems

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Library Science Degree Online

An alternative option to campus library science degree programs in an online library sciences degree which are offered at accredited universities like the University of North Carolina. Online degree programs utilize internet-based learning applications such as virtual classrooms and may require fieldwork or an internship.

Library Science Degrees & Certification

People who obtain a library science degree can find jobs in both the public and private sectors. Many librarians work with children at media centers in elementary, middle, or high schools. Others decide to get positions at colleges or universities, or to work at community libraries funded by the government. Librarians can also find jobs in special libraries at hospitals, churches, museums, research facilities, and other businesses. For people who have decided to pursue a career in library science, the job outlook is promising. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many librarians are expected to retire in the coming years, leaving an excess of job openings available.

Top School Library Blogs

See our list of the top 50 school library blogs which features blogs that provide great insights and informative articles about working as a school librarian.

Library Science Interviews

Interview with Dr. Mary Ann Harlan, lecturer at the San José State University School of Library and Information Science

Interview with Dr. Sandra Hirsh, Professor and Director at the San José State University School of Library and Information Science

Profiles of Library Science Degree Programs

San José State University
The San José State University School of Library and Information Science’s exclusively online Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program affords graduate students the unique opportunity to tailor their master’s degrees to their individual career goals. They can prepare for a variety of future roles in school libraries and academic libraries, such as information literacy or digital literacy instruction, collection development, website development, and library technology management. MLIS students complete all aspects of their degree online, including courses and field experiences. Periodic live online class sessions via web conferencing give students opportunities to engage in live discussions with instructors and classmates. Students also interact frequently via online discussion boards, where they can log in and participate at their convenience. Full-time students can finish the 43-unit MLIS program in as little as a year, although students have seven years to fulfill degree requirements. Students must complete six required courses, including a thesis or e-portfolio, and nine electives. The MLIS program has been continuously accredited by the American Library Association since 1969.

Library Science and Technology Degrees

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